Learning about nutrition is the most important thing you can do for weight loss and for health. Knowing more about the food you eat means you’ll never put something into your body without knowing how it will affect you. This makes eating healthily much MUCH easier. Make sure you check out these resources and drop me a message if I can help you with anything related to nutrition and exercise. I’m here to help YOU!
Why this Nutrition Guide ?
Days To Fitness is my website and I started it a year ago. It was around that time that I decided I really needed to get fit and healthy but wasn’t really sure where to start. The more I read, the more confused I got because many of the expert opinions were contradictory! There were days I didn’t know whether I was coming or going…
So, I decided to just jump in feet first and start doing something – even if that something wasn’t 100% right. As it turns out, I made a lot of good decisions based on my research and, 12-months later, I’m fitter, slimmer, and healthier than I ever thought possible.
It’s not been an easy journey – I made a few mistakes along the way – but during my quest for health and fitness I discovered a passion for helping other people and that’s what Days To Fitness is all about. More about my story at my “About” page.
No matter what your goal, nutrition is going to play a big part in your success but I soon realized that many people (me included) know very much about nutrition at all so in this article I want to direct you to some basic information that will make eating healthily and losing weight so much easier!
So why don’t people generally know much about nutrition? The main reason is that it is not a compulsory subject in schools. Why this life essential isn’t part of each and every kids’ lessons I don’t know and is something I discuss in my article “The Importance of Teaching Nutrition in Schools”.
What is nutrition?
Nutrition is the study of how food affects your body. This can be simply explained by the saying “you are what you eat”. Everything you eat eventually becomes part of you or, at the very least, passes through and affects you. If you eat healthily, you too will be healthy. But, if you eat unhealthily, you will probably end up the same way.
Knowing how food effects your body makes it easier to make good food choices. If, for example, you know how sugar can wreck your health and cause weight gain, you are more likely to want to avoid it. I talk about this a lot in my, article “How learning the nutrition basics can help you lose weight”.
That leads on to the term diet. Diet means different things to different people. In technical terms, your diet is the sum total of all the food you eat. Your diet can be healthy or unhealthy. However, some people think of diets as something they go on for a short time just to lose weight.
The trouble is, when they finish their weight loss diet and go back to their regular diet, the gain weight back again. It’s like a yoyo – up and down, up and down…
That’s why learning about nutrition is important – it helps you to develop long term habits so you not only lose weight but keep it off too.
Why is nutrition important for kids?
Knowing about nutrition is important for everyone but it’s especially important for kids. Why? Good question! I explain my thought on this subject in my article “Why is nutrition important for kids?” but here are a few highlights…
- Kids who learn to eat healthily become healthier, slimmer adults
- Habits learned as kids can be hard to break – and that includes good and bad habits
- Unhealthy, overweight kids often become unhealthy, overweight adults
- Unhealthy food is marketed at kids so it’s important they learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy food
- What kids learn, they’ll teach to others and help spread the importance of good nutrition
- Todays’ kids are tomorrows’ adults – they are the people who will need to fix the current obesity crisis
Nutrition is super-important for kids. I can’t understate how passionate I am about this subject. It upsets me to see overweight kids or kids who eat nothing but junk food. These kids will soon become unhealthy adults. Teaching kids to eat healthily will “stop the rot” and create healthy adults. That, to me, is a very worthwhile thing to do.
Over the last year or so I’ve learned so much about nutrition it’s made my head spin. I’ve got so much information crammed in my brain I’m amazed my ears don’t pop off! But, I also understand that some people don’t want to know how their car works – they just want to get in and drive.
For that very reason, I have gathered a lot of quick and easy tips that I want to share with you that will make healthy eating and weight loss so much simpler. I’ve left out all the technical science stuff – you don’t need to know about things like gluconeogenesis, the first law of thermodynamics, or nutrient partitioning. Instead, I’ve got a whole bunch of simple “do this and do that” tips for you that are easy to follow and are effective too.
Now, I know they work and I also know why but you don’t have to concern yourself with all that technical mumbo jumbo; just pick a few tips and do them and you will lose weight, boost your energy, or feel healthier – I guarantee it!
Check out my article “Nutrition tips I’ve learned”.
10 Nutrition Myths
There are food and nutrition myths everywhere. Many myths are so strong that even diet and nutrition experts believe them. It doesn’t help that the popular media perpetuate many of these myths when they report on the latest celebrity diet, super food, or alleged cause of cancer or obesity.
The thing is, if you fall for any of these myths, you run the risk of wasting a lot of time, effort, and money and potentially derailing your weight loss and even harming your health.
It’s not that myths are meant to be malicious and many of them sound like they ought to be true. It’s just they are often based on old science or popular opinion rather than fact.
I’ve fallen for plenty of food myths myself and, as a result, struggled with my weight and also sugar cravings. So much of what I thought I knew about nutrition turned out to be wrong.
That’s why I wrote my article “10 Nutrition Myths”. I wanted to share some of the myths that I mistakenly believed to be true but, after doing some research, discovered to be the opposite.
So, read the article and learn by my mistakes and don’t forget to share your own nutrition and diet myths in the comment section at the end of the article!
You are What you Eat
“You are what you eat” is one of the most important truisms in nutrition; everything you eat ultimately becomes part of you or, at the very least, passes through you in the most intimate way.
We don’t know who said “you are what you eat” first, maybe the Greek philosopher Hippocrates, but whoever it was, they were really on to something!
Knowing that the food you eat ultimately becomes part of you is an important part of nutrition and remembering that saying can make it easier to choose healthy food to eat. If you eat junk food, your body will turn to junk but if you eat healthily, you too will be healthy – it’s logical.
However, you don’t have to eat healthily all the time – most of the time will get the job done.
In my article “You Are What you Eat” I discuss the importance of the 10% rule which says if you eat healthily 90% of the time, you earn the right to treat yourself to some unhealthy food 10% of the time without derailing your diet or risking your health.
The 10% rule makes it much easier to stick to any long term healthy eating plan by making sure that no food is ever banned.
If you want to learn more about the expression “you are what you eat” or find out how the 10% rule can help you stick to your diet, make sure you check out the article!
The Power of Protein
Of all the food groups, protein is arguably the most important. It doesn’t matter if you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or just be healthy, you need to eat adequate amounts of protein.
The trouble is, while most people understand the importance of fat and carbs, far fewer people understand the importance of protein and that’s something I want to change which is why I’ve written an article called “The Power of Protein” which is all about this misunderstood nutrient.
Did you know, for example, that protein can help you lose fat and prevent cravings or that there are different types of protein in your body – structural and homeostatic?
Do you know how much protein you need per day and how that amount varies depending on your exercise goals?
Don’t worry – not many other people do either!
In The power of protein, I provide all the information you need to understand not only the importance of protein but how to make sure you are getting enough of this powerful nutrient. Easy to read and full of important information, if you have a question about protein, I’m sure you’ll find the answer in this article.
The Importance of Fiber
What food contains no calories, vitamins, or minerals but is still important for weight loss and health? The answer is fiber!
Fiber is like a hidden nutrient – you can’t use it for energy but a diet that is low in fiber is very likely going to be unhealthy.
Most people only eat 50% or less of the recommended daily allowance of fiber and it’s no wonder; almost all highly processed foods have had most of their fiber content removed. Too little fiber can have an adverse effect on many aspects of your health, not least your intestinal and digestive health.
Fiber can also help you lose and control your weight. High fiber foods are often lower in calories than low fiber foods and they also take longer to eat and are more filling. All in all, you need plenty of fiber in your diet.
But do you know how much fiber you should be eating? No? Don’t worry – nor do many other people. Needless to say, you probably aren’t eating enough.
Fiber is probably the most important thing you are not eating enough of right now so find out why fiber is so important and how to get enough in my article “The Importance of fiber”.
Best Nutrition Books
I’m no nutrition expert but I am an avid reader and study nutrition all the time. It’s very rare that I’m not reading a book about nutrition so I can learn even more and then pass what I have discovered on to you. I’ve read dozens of nutrition books over the last few years and people often ask me which one is the best. That is a hard question to answer! So, with that in mind, here are THREE of my favorite nutrition books which I have reviewed so you can discover which book is best for you.
Eating for Weight Gain
While most of the visitors to Days to Fitness are interested in healthy eating and weight loss, a few people have contacted me about weight gain or, more specifically, gaining muscle. This is not my area of expertise but I have some good friends who know all about this sort of thing and they shared their secrets with me over dinner one night.
From all their useful information I wrote an article called Eating for Weight Gain in which I lay out four important things you need to do if you want to gain muscle rather than lose fat.
I know it’s mainly men who want to gain weight but a few women do too. In some cases, it’s because they feel they are too skinny and in others they just want more curves. Whatever the reason, I fully support them in trying to shape their bodies but also know that there is a healthy way to gain weight and an unhealthy way. Needless to say, the healthy way is best.
If you are interested in gaining muscle or adding curves to your body, make sure you check out Eating for Weight Gain so you can learn how to do it right. Don’t try and gain weight too fast though; when it comes to successful weight gain, slow and steady is always best!
How to Eat Healthily in Restaurants
Eating out in restaurants is one of my favorite things to do but my friends often ask how I do it when they know I always try to eat healthily. My secrets can be found in my article How to Eat Healthily in Restaurants in which I reveal my seven top tips for sticking to your diet even when you eat out.
Of course, the easiest way to stick to your diet is to cook your own food but almost everyone I know likes to eat out from time to time. Maybe it’s a friend’s birthday or an anniversary – or a hot date! Whatever the reason you should be able to eat in a restaurant without breaking your diet or making the whole experience stressful or unenjoyable.
Knowing a little about nutrition means that you should be able to alter your meals to make them suitable for weight loss. Yes, you may need to ask for veggies instead of fries or choose grilled fish over deep-fried chicken but if that’s what it takes to avoid gaining weight, the effort will be worth it.
Follow my tips in How to Eat Healthily in Restaurants and I know you’ll enjoy your next meal out so much more!
The easier and more enjoyable good nutrition is, the more likely you are to eat healthily. As soon as something gets hard or unpleasant, most of us will up and quit.
One of the hardest aspects of eating healthily is knowing what to eat and finding things that aren’t boring, overly expensive, too fussy or time-consuming, or that use weird ingredients that you simply cannot find in your local grocery store.
To help you with this all-too-common problem, I have collected, collated and even invented a lot of awesome recipes for you to try.
Each one is tried and tested and has the Sarah seal of approval. If it wasn’t easy to make and didn’t taste nice, it didn’t make the cut. Just for you, I have got…
- Sugar-free recipes
- Healthy smoothie recipes
- Low carb recipes
- Meal replacement shake recipes
- Protein bar recipes
- Breakfast, lunch dinner, dessert, and snack recipes
- 21-Day Fix Approved Recipes
- And lots more
Each recipe is detailed, easy to follow, and includes nutrition information and a nice picture so you can see what it is you’re making.